With the onslaught of Chinese smartphone makers, homegrown companies are surely facing the heat. In what is increasingly becoming a business model, many companies are selling smartphones online-only. Micromax’s online-only smartphone arm called YU Televentures has already released the Cyanogen OS sporting YU Yureka in the past, and on May 12, it released another device called the YU Yuphoria. While many had expected a high end device, YU instead released Yuphoria, a budget device with a metallic frame. The Rs 6,999 price point, which has become a standard among budget 4G devices, was also adopted by the YU Yuphoria. Let us see if this phone has what it takes to be first choice for budget phone buyers.
Build and Design: 7.5/10
The design of the YU Yuphoria is impressive, considering it has employed a metallic frame. The rear cover is made of plastic and is removable. The rear cover itself isn’t that sturdy. The metallic frame is rounded and gives a good grip on the phone, helped in part by the matte finish on the rear cover. It comes in two colours, Buffed Steel with black cover and Champagne Gold with white cover.
On the top you have a 3.5mm audio jack and at the base there’s the microUSB charging/data transfer port. On the right hand side there are the volume rocker buttons with the power/standby button lodged between the volume rocker. This arrangement although unconventional, is quite ergonomic as you are not left hunting for the power/standby button.
The design on the rear side is reminiscent of the Nokia Lumia 830 with the camera placed in the centre of the top half region. The camera has metallic rings surrounding it and an LED flash unit is placed on the left side. At the base you have the grills for the speaker section and the YU branding.
The front portion has a 5-inch display with thick bezels on the top and bottom. The display comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It measures 8.2mm thick and weighs 143 grams.
The YU Yuphoria houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 system on chip which has a 64-bit 1.2GHz quad-core processor with Adreno 306 GPU, along with 2GB of RAM. The chipset is the same one that has been seen on the Lenovo A6000, Motorola Moto E 4G as well as the Xiaomi Redmi 2 and the Huawei Honor 4X, but barring the Honor 4X and the Yuphoria, all other phones comes with only 1GB of RAM. It also offers 16GB of storage of which 11.8GB is available to the user. If you are not content with this storage capacity, then you can even add in a microSD card which lets you increase the storage to 32GB.
Just like its elder sibling, the YU Yureka, the Yuphoria also comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop with the Cyanogen OS 12 ROM. The phone retains the Android 5.0 design element. We will elaborate on the CM12 OS in the Software section.
The YU Yuphoria is a dual SIM phone which can take in a 4G LTE SIM card in one slot with TDD 2300MHz and FDD 1800MHz bands supported for India whereas the slot no 2 can take in a 2G or 3G card.
An 8MP camera graces the rear side with an f/2.2 aperture and an LED flash unit whereas the front-facing camera is a 5MP fixed focus camera. The device is powered by a 2230mAh battery which is removable.
The USP of the YU Yuphoria is the CyanogenMod 12 ROM on the Android 5.0 platform. Thanks to this, the phone offers you multiple ways to customise it. There are some of its special apps on the phone such as AudioFX which lets you customise the audio output, ScreenCast lets you record your on screen navigations with the recording registering where you’ve touched the screen as well and so on. YUniverse is the phone’s own browser which is basically a customised version of the Opera browser.
Yuphoria has also added a feature called the Themer, which lets you customise the fonts and wallpapers from different themes to make you own custom theme. You will need to go to the Themes app and tap on the paintbrush icon. This floating button can let you customise the look of your apps based on the themes you have downloaded.
The Settings menu lets you tweak the device further. You can wake up the phone with a double-tap or make the phone go to sleep by double-tapping the status bar, change screen-off animation style, customise soft buttons to perform certain functions and so on.
For a budget phone, the YU Yuphoria’s 2GB of RAM specification is quite interesting. In terms of benchmarks, the numbers given out by the Yuphoria are in the same range as that of the Motorola Moto E 4G, Lenovo A6000 and so on. The 2GB RAM, does give the Yuphoria a slight edge and keeps things speedy. I did not notice any lag while switching between apps. The animations were smooth on the default theme. Only the camera app takes a slight delay to begin.
Call quality is good, but the earpiece speaker does tend to distort sound at maximum volumes. In terms of heating issues, the phone does tend to get warm when running benchmarks or during gaming. I noticed that the display portion and rear side did tend to heat up when I was out in the sun, with the metal frame getting particularly warm. Another issue was the default keyboard app, which even though it supports swype-like functionality tends to miss out of a lot of alphabets, leading to spelling errors. If you are one who is used to typing with your thumb, then you are better off downloading a third-party keyboard app such as TouchPal or others.
On the software front, one glitch I did come across was the freezing of the lock screen after having received a call. So for instance, when you hang up from a call, if you have any notifications on the lock screen, you will need to make the phone go into sleep mode and wake it back up to unlock the phone. YU sure has a lot of things to take care of in its future system updates.
The loudspeaker on the rear side is quite impressive. It is loud enough for you to watch a film without the need for earphones in a room.
The YU Yuphoria has a 5-inch HD display and it comes with a laminated glass coating, thereby giving it a pixel density of 294ppi. The IPS panel ensures that you have good viewing angles. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection is also included which keeps the display protected from scratch marks and smudges. The auto brightness mode tends to jump abruptly between brightness levels when you are using the phone in tricky lighting situations. Sunlight legibility is good as long as you boost up the brightness levels as keeping it in the auto mode was a bit annoying. The phone’s display is sharp and holding at an arms length I did not notice any pixillation. Watching videos or movies on the display is a good experience. There is no noticeable colour tinge on it.
There is an 8MP rear camera with an OmniVision OV8865 sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 on the YU Yuphoria. It comes with auto-focus whereas the front-facing 5MP camera has a fixed focus. The camera user interface is the same that was seen on the YU Yureka as well as the OnePlus One. Daylight shots are good and detailed, although the HDR mode was a hit and miss affair. Chromatic aberrations are under control. The colours appear natural and there wasn’t any colour tinge. Low light photographs are strictly OK and you will notice patchy areas in the image output. Even images shot indoors tend to capture some amount of noise.
Note: Please click on the images to see the full resolution images on Flickr. Alternatively, you can also check out our YU Yuphoria photo album for more sample images.
Battery Life: 6.5/10
The phone houses a 2230mAh battery and this is good enough for an 8-hour work day on regular use. But if you are a power user, you will need to carry around your charger with you. One thing that is impressive is the quick charging time and you can even replace the battery. The PC Mark for Android test gives a battery life of around 7 hours and 47mins.
Verdict and Price in India
YU Yuphoria offers an impressive package at Rs 6,999 and at this price point, the Yuphoria’s design does manage to stand out from competition. Features such as a metallic frame, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 4G, dual SIM, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, Cyanogen OS, 8MP camera do give a good value proposition.
But having said that, the phone also has its share of issues such as screen freezing after a call, heating issues, average camera and battery life. Some of these issues could be resolved by relevant software updates in the near future. If you are on a tight budget and want a phone which you can customise to your liking, the YU Yuphoria seems to be a good choice at Rs 6,999.
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